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Sunday, December 31, 2017
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:5-8) Have this mind among yourselves, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even on a cross. (ESV)
But made himself of no reputation, and took on the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. (KJV)
But stripped himself of all privilege by consenting to be a slave by nature and being made a mortal man. (JBP)
Gave up his divine privileges. (NLT)
Set aside the privileges of deity. (MSG)
He poured himself out. (The Voice)
No matter how you look at it, what Jesus did by coming to earth is simply beyond comprehension. We can't even begin to fathom a descent of that magnitude; especially in a world that is hell-bent on ascending. Yet, that is the mystery of the season; God became man and made his dwelling among us. God lowered, emptied, stripped, gave up, let go of, or poured out, depending on your translation. And all of those words together do not really even begin to scratch the surface.
But God did not just stop there. Now he calls each of us, his people, to do the same. He calls us to be more and more like him. He tells us that our attitudes, and our practices, should be the same as his. He tells us that somehow, some way, in our daily lives, we must practice the art of emptying ourselves, because that is what he did. Because that is who he is. We, his followers, must constantly be seeking how and where and when and to whom he desires for us to pour ourselves out for the sake of Love. What will that look like for each of us in the days and weeks and months--and year--ahead? That is the real question of the season.